March 16, 2024

Haiti Update

By Bro. Bill Hlina

In recent weeks we have had an overwhelming number of requests regarding the welfare of the brothers and sisters in Haiti.

The truth came to Haiti only about 15 years ago, primarily due to the work of brother Esmath Sainval. He was formerly trained as a pastor who having disagreements with the doctrines of his church, began a Saturday Bible class in his home, resulting in the conversion of a small group who were baptized into Christ. An ecclesia was formed late in 2009. Only a couple months later on January 10, 2010 there was a major earthquake that hit Haiti causing massive destruction of infrastructure, from which the country has never recovered! Yet the truth was able to prosper, with continuing interest and baptisms despite the upheaval caused by the earthquake. During this time, CBMC provided French language teaching and preaching materials, also periodic Bible seminars.

Recently, we received exciting communication and pictures from the ecclesia in Carrefour in the recently completed hall expansion and the hall filled with brothers and sisters, with families and friends in attendance.  Brothers Esmath Sainval and Steve Johnson have kept us informed regarding the activities in Haiti. In December 2023 we had sent funds to help purchase Creole bibles to help spread the truth in Haiti to Les Cayes, and plans were in place for brothers to visit and present Bible classes in an effort to spread the truth. We soon received reports that the access to the city to buy the Bibles was blocked, and the gangs were becoming more active and the planned trip was cancelled.

The situation is dire for the country and particularly for the ecclesias there. Your prayers for the struggles they endure are much needed. In recent weeks the country has been besieged by violent gangs which in turn has affected our brothers and sisters, particularly in the areas around Carrefour, near Port au Prince. Our brother Esmath had reported that since February, the gangs have forced the cancellation of the ecclesia meetings. Some members felt obliged to flee, others were laying down under the beds to hide from the many rounds being fired randomly. We have received video recordings of the people fleeing their homes, and audio of the random gunfire in the area.

While the work of the CBMC has primarily focused on the English speaking countries of the Caribbean, we have been involved with supporting the preaching efforts in Haiti for several years. Since 2009 and the baptism of 15 members, there are now 3 ecclesias with about 207 brothers and sisters. As noted, the current gang situation is causing many people to flee and leave the area. We pray that God will help our brothers and sisters in Haiti and continue to allow the gospel to be spread to those needing hope, but it is difficult at the moment.

Our heavenly Father knows how to help and guide the situation there. Our prayers for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Haiti are for their care and protection, and that the God of all comfort will not let the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ not be hindered.

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